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Discussion Starter #1
I'm on a new Vista laptop. I'm an idiot when it comes to computer hardware, but I can see/know:
AMD Turion 64 x2 mobile technology
ATI Radeon Xpress 1100
2GB DDR2

I've played a game called Second Life for 3/4 of a year. I switched to a Vista laptop (had no choice - they were all vista) and noticed sudden drops in FPS. yes, while I had double the ram than my previously laptop and got a generally higher FPS, it would drop for no reason.

For example: I'm staring at a blank wall for 20 seconds. FPS is at 20 (thats GOOD for Second Life). Then for no reason, it goes to 19..17...13...5...2 and then will stay around 2 for maybe 30 seconds and then reverse (go back up) and be fine for maybe 30 seconds, and it'll repeat.

I didn't blame it on the computer at first, so reformatted. It was fine for like a day but started happening again around the time I installed Maya... I uninstalled Maya and it kept happening... so again today I reformatted.

I also noticed my CPU shooting upwards to 100% when this happened.
However it only happened when I played Second Life because I never played many games at the time.

I also bought another game: Half Life 2 EP 2 today. The SECOND it finished reformatting I installed it, and guess what? Same thing. The laptop, with no viruses or spyware affecting it, decides to shoot down to a low FPS for no reason, before recovering itself - and it loops.

It's not overheating because it's always on a cooling pad with 2 fans... I have no idea what's causing this....

Thanks :D
 

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Hi torrobinson

I would be point the finger at your network card/connection. Second Life is extremely network intesive if i remember, plus it would be just past beta on Vista i think? Also, your graphics are not that powerful, so don't expect much. Make sure you have the latest drivers etc and plug the notebook into mains power and see if that helps.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
On my past laptop, on the same connection, it wasn't like this...it's not the connection I don't think...

Why does my internet affect Half Life 2? Even if I'm disconnected it'll be running perfectly an then without me moving the camera, it shoots down for 30 seconds... it CAN run awesome, but every 30 seconds decides not too :S

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
you said Second Life which is an online world environment.

ok, so does this happen when you power cable is connected? Is the GPU getting hot?
I only play with the power cable connected :p

I don't know what is considered hot, but yeah the bottom of my laptop is pretty warm (with my cooling base on).
 

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It could be incompatible with Vista. You should try installing 2000 or XP because I see no reason to use a buggy and bloated resource hog like Vista.

But if you want to keep Vista, you could try disabling all of the desktop compositing and theming when you're running the game. Also, make sure you disable indexing on your hard disk(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I disabled indexing on both drives (I have Steam installed on one other than C), turned window transparency off, closed Sidewindow, and it still ran the same :(

I tried it with SL but couldn't get a dip in FPS (stayed at an awesome 20 for some reason)

But I recorded a video of what it looks like with HL2 Episode 2. It's running perfectly, then dips for a while (the fps, while in this "dip", varies) and then after a 1/2 second freeze, it's back to perfect fps.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jKp3AeN2xdw

(I went into the task manager afterwards in case you think there's too many of something under a heading)

I haven't tried this with the major Source game I'm playing right now (Portal), but for some reason HL2 Ep 2 is what runs the worse and has the biggest dips in fps...

:S


Thanks for the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To be honest, I have no idea what a chipset is, but yes, I've the latest graphics card drivers (they were required to play SL on Vista).

I just turned off Aero and will check out the link you gave me to disable whatever I can.

Thanks :D
 

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Vista isnt great at running any type of game. Im currently testing and using Vista x64 for my gaming needs and wish i went back to XP.
Here are a few things that makes Vista not ready for games.
1. Memory hog. (If the game requires 1gb to run then u need 2.5gb with Vista)
2. Unfinshed/unoptimized drivers for all devices (mainly Graphical drivers)
3. Loads of OS bugs which makes game unstable
4. Poor technical support from the game developers (As they dont use Vista)
5. Also a CPU hog. (XP runs 20 apps in background, Vista uses 40)

With XP i usually get 80-100fps in most of my games. With Vista is get 25-50fps.

I would use MegaSvensk advise and install XP (if you have legal copy) you will find a massive increase in gaming performance and stability.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Unfortunately I really don't know enough to go out, buy XP, and install it. When my old laptop failed and I needed a new one, ONLY Vista was available, which annoying the heck outta me (since Vista is pretty much just flashy eye candy).

I`ll start saving for a better computer and in the meantime try do whatever can with Vista.

Sorry if this is an annoying question but: isn't my laptop already good enough if it CAN run the games well but just goes slow every 30 seconds?

Thanks
 

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Yeah you laptop will run most games (without the eye-candy, maybe just a little) its mainly Vista's problem. Microsoft is releasing Service Pack 1 and that will have loads of bug fixes and should improve stability on games
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Argh well I finally got around to disabling like 3 un-needed services when I noticed the extent of the random slowdowns: looking at an empty wall, it ran at 45 FPS. That's the highest it's ever run in my history of playing Second Life. And almost periodically, it would shoot down to 3 FPS. I got my iPod out and timed a few (not very accurate timing on my part):

13.7 s fast
16.4 s slow
12.2 s fast
17 s slow
14.8 s fast

It's seems like its timed... not a random bug but something does something every x seconds that slows it down for x seconds.

Here's the icons running in the bottom-right:
Norton Protection Center
(wireless access point notifying thing from Acer)
Spyware Doctor
(mouse thing) Synaptics Pointing Device
(power indicator)
(the built-in wireless access point indicator)
Realtek HD Audio Manager
(volume control)


Again... my computer CAN run it...but decides not to..... this is so frustrating...

I don't know what it means, but I saw on a forum:
"Periodic slowdowns are often due to the system swapping information to and from Memory/HDD. "
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wierd...I can't find an easy way to simply close norton...but I went inside and turned everything (all the protection) off for 15 min (it needs a time limit) and got a CONSTANT 15 fps while moving around and doing crap. I'll see if this continues when I get back from work in 8 hours...

Yeah Norton is the one preinstalled piece of software that is installed after I restore back to it's initial state (Acer has a great thing that cleans a computer with the touch of a button). This could be it.

In the meantime, thanks A LOT because it's looking like this could be it.
 

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You should remove Norton completely and install something like AVG. AVG is free, better at detecting and cleaning viruses than Norton and it uses very few resources (right now the AVG processes on my system uses about 3.5 MB of RAM). For spyware protection you can use Spybot and/or Ad Aware.
 

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I would just like to add a bit here. Vista makes about 3% difference in games on average. It depends on which game of course, some are more affected others are acutally better. Vista requires a different pc to XP. I run several os's on my machine, and run COD4, Crysis etc and i find no noticable difference between vista and xp.

Karlos, with respect if you are getting that much difference between the two os's something is wrong. I am yet to see an 80% benchmark/real-world difference between XP and Vista.

Torrobinson you have a laptop, with a low powered GPU mate. You are not ever going to get stable or high FPS. You may for a while but the GPU will be better at certain visuals and crap at others. It has to do with the architecture of the GPU and what you are playing. I can elaboate if you wish, but effectively you are asking it to do too much. Yes Vista has higher overheads, but not as much as Karlos is indicating. He has a dx10 card, which is a very different beast (ie the GTS is obsolete now, and is hard to compare to dx9 - which is what you are using).

Soon there will be external GPU's for laptops, upgrade then. Until then, low res gaming is for you.

cheers
 

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Karlos, with respect if you are getting that much difference between the two os's something is wrong. I am yet to see an 80% benchmark/real-world difference between XP and Vista.
Yeah something was wrong and i have now corrected the problem and all games run fine. Tho XP is still better for gaming, dont waste your time with DX10 too many bugs just like vista.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You should remove Norton completely and install something like AVG. AVG is free, better at detecting and cleaning viruses than Norton and it uses very few resources (right now the AVG processes on my system uses about 3.5 MB of RAM). For spyware protection you can use Spybot and/or Ad Aware.
THANKYOU.

I swear that was the problem. Bigfella, I uninstalled Norton, got AVG and now I AM going at a constant fps. Played SL for another 10 minutes after work and it NEVER dipped. Then I launched Portal and it NEVER dipped (well, it does the NORMAL dipping in big areas with lotsa effects, but not the 1/10th fps drops I was getting before)

I don't know why I didn't consider Norton.

Thankyou so much :D
 
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